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erythrocyte (ĭrĭthˈrəsītˌ): see blood.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a red blood corpuscle, or cell, in man, the vertebrates, and some invertebrates (echinoderms). Erythrocytes transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. They regulate the acid-base balance and maintain osmotic balance in the blood and tissues. In addition, amino acids and lipids are absorbed from the blood plasma, and transported to the tissues, by erythrocytes.

Mature mammalian and human erythrocytes lack the nucleus that is present in the early stages of their development—that is, in the erythroblasts. They have the shape of a biconcave disk. Erythrocytes consist mainly of the respiratory pigment hemoglobin, which is responsible for the red color of blood. The erythrocytes of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes are nucleated. The erythroblasts’ actively functioning nuclei gradually become inactive in the course of the erythrocytes’ development; they can, however, be reactivated. At the same time, ribosomes and other constituents that participate in protein synthesis disappear from the cytoplasm. The cell (or plasma) membrane plays an important role by permitting the passage of gases, ions, and water in the erythrocytes. On the surface of the lipoprotein membrane are specific glycoprotein antigens, or agglutinogens—the blood group factors responsible for the agglutination of erythrocytes.

The efficient functioning of hemoglobin depends on the erythrocytes’ area of surface contact with the environment. The smaller the erythrocytes, the greater their total surface area. The lower invertebrates have large erythrocytes (measuring, for example, 70 micrometers in diameter in the caudate amphibian Amphiuma), and the higher vertebrates have smaller ones (4 micrometers in diameter in goats). Human erythrocytes vary in diameter from 7.2 to 7.5 micrometers.

The number of erythrocytes in the blood normally remains constant, ranging from 4.5 to 5 million in 1 mm3 of human blood. The life-span of a human erythrocyte averages 125 days; approximately 2.5 million erythrocytes are formed and an equal number are destroyed every second. The total number decreases in anemia and increases in polycythemia. In the anemias, erythrocytes are found to change shape and size; they may be large (such as the megalocytes in Addison-Biermer anemia) or small, and they may, for example, be oval in shape (as in hemolytic anemia).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A type of blood cell that contains a nucleus in all vertebrates but humans and that has hemoglobin in the cytoplasm. Also known as red blood cell.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a blood cell of vertebrates that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide, combined with the red pigment haemoglobin, to and from the tissues
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
(%) 114 (87.0) Hemoglobin, g/dL (range) 13.5 (12.0-16.4) RDW (RR, <14.5%), % (range) 12.7 (11.4-14.8) CRP (RR, <0.3 mg/dL), mg/dL (range) 0.36 (0.3-2.3) ESR (RR, <30 mm/h), mm/h (range) 15.5 (2-68) Abbreviations: CRP, C-reactive protein;ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; RA, rheumatoid arthritis; RDW, red blood cell distribution width; RR, reference range; OA, osteoarthritis.
A Manual erythrocyte sedimentation rates, or ESRs, are classified as waived tests under CLIA '88; there are no federal regulatory specifications for quality control of this test.
DISCUSSION: Erythrocyte sedimentation rate continues to be used as an indicator of inflammation and infection in all levels of laboratory services; despite being a non-specific test.
Multivariate analysis identified older age, low body mass index, low erythrocyte sedimentation rate, short duration of symptoms, nonsmoking status, and the absence of anti-CCP antibodies as being independent predictors for achieving DMARD-free remission, she said.
Approximately 600 cases of SHML have been described in the English literature, generally children or young adults with tumoral cervical adenopathy, fever, hypergammaglobulinemia, an increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and leukocytosis with neutrophilia.
Although C-reactive protein tests have been shown to be better than erythrocyte sedimentation rate in the diagnosis of septic arthritis in children, C-reactive protein tests were not readily available early in this study and therefore were not included in data analysis to avoid any potential bias.
In a preliminary study of 50 pain patients who were tested for elevated blood pressure, pulse rate, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and morning cortisol and pregnenolone serum concentrations, 48 (96%) demonstrated at least one abnormality, and 32 (64%) had two or more, Dr.
Those patients who presented with pain soon after surgery were afebrile, had adductor spasm, tenderness over the pubic anchor site, an increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), a normal white blood count (WBC), and an osteopenic halo on plain pelvic x-ray, Dr.
Blood samples obtained from the subjects at the beginning and end of the study were analyzed for plasma pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (the active form of vitamin B6), serum folate, and factors involved in inflammation, including C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-[alpha]).
Their DAS28 (disease activity score 28) was 3.2 or higher, and they had either a Westergren erythrocyte sedimentation rate of at least 28 mm/hour or a C-reactive protein level of at least 20 mg/L.
Rheumatoid factor was negative and erythrocyte sedimentation rate rose from 27 to 101 mm/h, while the woman's disease activity score was very high, at 8.2.

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